7 Gardening Tips For Beginners – Wellers Hardware
For most beginners, gardening can seem like a daunting and time consuming task. But, we can all agree that a well groomed, flourishing garden can turn any boring backyard into a relaxing oasis. Luckily, we’ve come up with a list of 7 gardening tips for beginners to make planting and caring for your first garden a breeze!
1) Plan, Plan, PLAN!
The number one tip when it comes to gardening for beginners is to plan! Thorough planning will save you both time and money. You may be excited at the thought of starting a garden but running out to the closest nursery and just choosing plants you like the look of is a quick way to end your gardening experience before it has even started.
And even if you have a bit of gardening know-how or know which kind of plants you need, if you don’t plan out your garden first you will end up buying too much or too little and having to return to the store anyway.
So, the first thing you need to do when planning your new garden is to decide what kind of garden you want, whether it be vegetables, herbs or a flower garden. Once you have chosen the type of garden you want you will need to research any plants you want to buy to find out how much space you will need and how big they will grow.
This will help you to plan out where you want your plants to go. Taller plants should be planted at the back of the garden with the smallest plants at the front in order for all of the plants to be visible. You should also take note of which colours will go together when choosing your plant layout.
2) Must-Have Gardening Tools
The following is a list of gardening tool “must-haves” for beginners along with their uses:
Gloves – First and foremost, you will need gloves to protect your hands while gardening.
Rake – When it comes to gardening, rakes are a necessity. Metal rakes can prepare a garden bed for planting by levelling the soil and removing any rocks. Plastic rakes are better suited for gathering fallen leaves, mowed grass and other general gardening tasks.
Garden Hose or Watering Can – Your plants are going to need frequent watering making either a garden hose or a watering can a necessity.
Note: a garden hose may be too harsh for watering smaller, unestablished plants. A watering can offers a more gentle approach to watering. Alternatively, you could use a hose attachment to control the force of the water from the hose.
Spade and Hand Trowel – These can be used for digging holes to plant seedlings or bigger plants as well as digging out weeds.
Pruning Scissors – Use your pruning scissors to cut back plants and bushes for a tidy finish. Additionally, pruning scissors can be used to remove dead branches or flower heads to encourage growth.
3) Improve Your Soil
Once you’ve planned what your garden will look like and acquired all of the necessary gardening tools, the next step is to evaluate and improve your soil.
Not all soil is created equal. Different soil types are suited to growing different plants. Is your soil light and sandy or heavy and clay-like? If you’re not sure, have a look at the kinds of plants your neighbours are growing. Alternatively, you could send a sample of your soil to your local garden store to test the pH level.
Improving your soil by adding organic matter will help to promote the growth of any plants you plant in it. This can be done by adding a layer of compost, manure or even old leaves to the top of the soil. The organic matter should then be worked into the soil be tilling the top layer.
Note: Only dig when the soil is damp. Digging in wet or dry soil can ruin its natural structure and affect drainage.
4) Choosing Your Plants
Next, you will need to choose your plants. You should already have an idea of what type of plants you want from your garden layout plan. Now you will need to go to your local nursery and pick out your plants.
As a beginner, it is important to choose plants that are low maintenance. Most plant nurseries will have staff members with gardening knowledge available to advise you on this. If you’re still not sure which plants to pick, try researching plants native to your area. These plants will naturally thrive in your climate requiring less maintenance.
When it comes to choosing plants it is best to choose plants that have thick or bushy leaves rather than those full of flowers. Choosing a mix of annuals (plants that last a single season) and perennials (plants that will grow back year after year) will ensure that your garden looks full all year round.
5) Planting Your Plants
Check the seed packet or plant information for when to plant each individual plant as well as how far apart and how deep they should go. For best results, perennials should be planted in spring or autumn.
When planting seeds be sure to label them! Different plants may require different amounts of sunlight or water so it is important to remember where each plant was planted. This means labelling your plants. This can be done by either using the label that comes with the plant from the nursery or by making your own labels.
Top Tip #1: Painted stones or ice block sticks make inexpensive yet effective plant labels.
Top Tip #2: Soak the roots of a plant before you put it in the soil.
6) Watering 101
Watering plants is often the beginning gardeners downfall. Choosing and planting plants can all be done in a single weekend, however, most plants require regular watering to thrive.
Water In The Morning – Generally, the best time to water your plants is in the morning. This is because there will be less water evaporation from the less intense morning sun. Watering at night also has this advantage however, there is more chance of fungus developing in the roots of the plant as they will be damp overnight.
Water Slowly and Deeply – it is better to water your plants deeply (plenty of water over a longer period of time) and less frequently than to water shallow and more frequently as this allows the water to penetrate right through to the roots for deeper roots and stronger plants. Be sure to water the roots rather than the leaves of the plant.
Note: It is just as important to water slowly as it is to water deeply. Impatience with the watering can lead to overwatering which may negatively affect your plant’s growth.
Water Seedlings Daily – Small plants, such as seedlings, or unestablished plants, such as new transplants. should be watered every day. Once the roots of the new plants have been established they will require less frequent watering.
Note: Frequency of watering should be based on your individual climate, average rainfall/humidity and soil composition. Water each plant to their specific requirements for best results.
Finally, you will need to constantly remove weeds from your garden to promote the healthy growth of your plants.
Top Tip #3: Weeds will come out easier when the soil is damp.
If you don’t have the time to individually remove all of the weeds in your garden try covering them with a tarpaulin or weedmat for two weeks. (Ensure none of your plants or seedlings are covered). Adding a top layer of mulch to your soil will help to suppress weeds. Mulch will also increase the water retention of your soil for healthier plant growth.
Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscape Supplies is your local hardware store. Located in the heart of Tarragindi we provide landscape and garden supplies Brisbane wide. Call 07 3848 1682 today or visit us instore.
– Ivy J, Content Specialist